My first Sons of Anarchy panel at TCA also happened to be their final visit to the event as they go into their final season. Kurt Sutter, Paris Barclay, Charlie Hunnam, Katey Sagal, Kim Coates, Drea DeMatteo, Dayton Callie and Theo Rossi joined us to discuss SOA‘s upcoming swan song, and here are some highlights that we took away from it:
- SOA is the most successful show that FX has ever done. Ratings have grown consistently year after year.
- Sutter: the looser he grips his idea for each season, the better it is. Things change with different story ideas. It’s always been heading in the same direction but the way it gets there changes.
- Sagal: Every season she is challenged differently. She is “duplicitous” at this point. “What’s coming out of her mouth and going through her brain are different things.” She is driven by survival and keeping her family intact.
- Barclay: He has always been involved in the series as a fan and as a director; came in for Season 4 on a regular basis to bring some stability to Sutter because this is a difficult project to do alone.
- “Does it have to be a fork? How long of a fork?” Barclay to Sutter re: last season’s major death.
- Sutter: he likes to do some casting outside of the box, and that’s what he did with Marilyn Manson and Courtney Love. Manson is a huge fan of the show and asked to be a part of it. Love also expressed interest in being on the series, and when the school teacher role came up, he said, “Who better than Courtney Love?”
- Sutter: It was never his intention to have episodes that run longer; it became more difficult to find things to cut because of the intricacies of the relationships and the stories. He is able to turn out episodes that are the best cut of the story.
- Hunnam: He tries not to take the work home as much as possible. He will go home in a bad mood or a good mood, but more based on how he felt his performance was on a certain day. He has no desire to go off to a lighter world in future projects. He likes the “heightened world of big drama.”
- Hunnam: The new season picks up about 10 days after the events of the season finale. Jax is in a very schizophrenic state. “He’s sad and vulnerable and broken, but with a huge amount of vengeance and anger in his heart.” He knows what he wants to do and that’s where all of his energy will go, but he can’t get away from the fact that the love of his life has been taken from him.
- Sutter: “It’s not about how I outdo myself, it’s more about, within the circumstances of a scene between two characters, what is the most interesting way for things to happen.” He doesn’t think anything they’ve ever done has been inorganic. Regarding Tara’s death, “It was a fork because it was there.”
- Hunnam: He doesn’t think there would be that much drama had Jax gone legit and got SAMCRO out of a more “nefarious direction.”
- Sutter: John Teller tried to pull the club in a legit path, and he wanted the “hero” to try and go in that direction. Neither were successful in turning the focus of the club in a more legit direction. Hunnam added that it’s the truth of it, and it’s hard to get out of that world once you’re in it.
- Coates: Tig is a survivor and probably should have died at least 20 times. Sutter said that there are things he can do with Tig that he can’t do with any other character.
- Hunnam regarding Tig in the upcoming season: “There’s an exciting romance. Tig’s getting some this year.”
- Hunnam: Not getting nominated for awards really doesn’t matter. He makes it for the people who watch the show.
Photo Courtesy of FX